The yearly ceremony for bringing in the new mayor and confirming the executive, committee members and outside body commitments, took place last evening and as usual was a fine occasion.
Bill Quinton will make a good mayor and is liked by all members across the parties. I sincerely wish him well and hope he as a fantastic year, as it seems all the mayors do.
The difference this year is that I have accepted the seat on executive, offered every year by the Labour leader and I do not do this lightly.
Councillor Ellesmere will tell you that he offers this in the interest of openness and of course, it does help us to see what's going on.
BUT, The labour group (and I mean as a group, not any particular individual) never do us Conservatives any favours, not even if it helped the people of Ipswich. Like the Unions they are protectionists and they will not be making my life easy. I will not win any vote where I disagree with them and they will see this as an opportunity to scrutinise everything I say.
But I will not make their lives too easy either and it will be an interesting ride.
I don't believe the people of Ipswich enjoy the childishness that goes on, although I will say that there's not a grown-up in the entire world that doesn't behave in a childlike way at one point. Football, politics, relationships, hobbies, debate, social media can all make us resort to silly stuff.
But I also don't believe that people would find total collaboration that interesting either. While on the campaign trail someone asked me why we couldn't just get together and do what needs to be done.
I replied that we do - but here's the rub - we want roughly the same things but it's HOW we get there that makes us fall into different camps.
No, you would definitely have the right to say we all look and sound the same if we were to totally collaborate. How could we possibly show you our differing values, beliefs, plans, desired outcomes if we just 'all got along and agreed'?
I intend to make it interesting - being on the executive will make it interesting - having to be at my best while I am scrutinised and vice versa - will make it interesting.
When my group agrees, we will say so. When we don't we will give you reasons why.
Over the coming weeks I will continue to use social media to take our council to the people of Ipswich. I intend to dispel the myths of what a Conservative is and why I have always been one, despite growing up in a council flat until I was 11 in the East End of London and being a single parent with no help from the government whatsoever, during the fantastic Thatcher years.
I will show you that we do not adopt the unionistic method, in which Labour group always cherish, but that we are a team with a common sense of duty, compassion, teamwork, values, beliefs and fondness for each other, even if we have the odd disagreement. We are family. Small but powerful!
We are going to make some mistakes - but in the words of the great Maya Angelou:
'I've learnt that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel'.
I intend to show the people of Ipswich, that if you want to be proud of Ipswich, see the people empowered with confidence, then you need to vote Conservative.
We believe in empowering the people, the officers who run the council and giving residents what they want, not what we think they want.
I'm ready for the ride!